The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
April 1962, Volume 8, Number 2
Jerry MacMullen, Editor
A Barren Hilltop Becomes a Park
A Plant Tour of Presidio Park
Even more at home on its hilltop…a wonderland of grassy slopes…trees…shrubs…the museum now contrasts sharply with its bleak exterior as shown above.
This group (81) of Acacia Pendula, across Presidio Drive from the Serra museum, is on of the most picturesque plantings in the park. The narrow leaves are light gray. THOMAS L. CRIST
These detail drawings, both by the late Alfred C. Hottes, show, left, yellow, star-like flowers (8) Parkinsonia aculeata, Jerusalem thorn tree; right, blue phlox-like flowers of (17) Plumbago capensis. California Garden.
In the center of the left photo is (37) Taxodium distichum, or Montezuma Bald Cypress; behind are two varieties of Redwoods, with a Deodar Cedar (40) to the left. The other photo shows a young specimen of (28) Acacia podalyriaefolia or Pearl Acacia, silhouetted against dark green Eucalyptus lehmanni (25). THOMAS L. CRIST
Foliage details from Presidio Park, drawn by Sally Bancroft. California Garden.
Along Cosoy Way, at the easterly edge of The Bowl. Framed by the trees can be seen, across Mission Valley, the sun-drenched buildings of San Diego University. THOMAS L. CRIST
Route and Planting Map Keyed to Text; Drawn for California Garden by Alice M. Clark.
[Larger image of plant map=327k]
Key to Route and Planting Map.
A mantle of lawn covers the tumbled adobe walls which once were the Spanish Presidio, first permanent white settlement on the coast of what now is California.
A few feet southwesterly from the Indian statue may be seen the tile floor, and traces of the adobe walls of a room in the only Presidio building not covered by a lawn.
The Presidio of San Diego
Map of Serra Museum site:
The Junipero Serra Museum
On this spot, California began. The Serra Cross, erected in 1913 and faced with fragments of Presidio tile, marks the approximate spot where Fr. Junipero Serra established the original mission, on July 16, 1769.
Not far to the westerly of Serra Museum stands this handsome bronze statue of Fr. Junipero Serra, founder of the California Missions. It is the work of the late Arthur Putnam. B.L. SHANKLAND.
Silent for many years, the Spanish cannon El Jupiter faces seaward from the earthworks at the military crest of Presidio Hill. A bronze muzzle-loader, it was cast in Manila in 1783. JERRY MACMULLEN
From Toledo, Spain, came this handsome 16th Century vargueno, a part of the Museum’s permanent exhibit. It is ornamented in ivory, gold-leaf and ebony, and has two secret compartments. B.L. SHANKLAND.
Intricate decoration sets off this 17th Century Spanish oak chest. Along with other furniture and artifacts from Spain, it was brought to the Serra Museum in 1929. B.L. SHANKLAND
Cabrillo’s discovery of San Diego Bay in 1542 is depicted (top) by a diorama. Another diorama (below) shows Fort Yuma, a river port once included in San Diego County, as it appeared late in the 19th Century.
Two popular annual events are the Gun Show and the Model Railroad Show featuring “Trains of the Past”. Top, visitors and arms collectors gather around the outdoor exhibit tables. Below is a view of the model railroad show. At the extreme lower right corner is a scale model of the private car in which Lily Langtry visited San Diego in the 1880s. Immediately above is a live steam working model of the locomotive C. P. Huntington of 1863, flanked by a typical Railway Mail car of the 1870s.